July 2008 Postcard

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We’ve been through this before—and it must not happen again. In its verbal attacks on Iran, the Bush administration once again is seeking to portray a foe so dangerous, so threatening that the U.S. has no choice but to launch a pre-emptive attack. The dispatching of a second aircraft carrier battle group to the Gulf not only could be viewed by Tehran as an act of provocation, but increases the risk of an inadvertant confrontation that might escalate beyond control.

The mistakes of Iraq must not be repeated with Iran. I urge you to insist on a diplomatic approach to resolve this country’s differences with Iran—which seem to be based on the perceived threat by Israel, rather than any danger Iran poses to our own country. In fact, Iran—unlike Israel—has not initiated an attack outside its borders in more than 200 years.

The Senate failed to responsibly vet the thin rational for war with Iraq. Do not let your colleagues make the same mistakes with regard to Iran. Enough American lives and treasure have already been lost.

altIran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili (l), welcomes IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei to a Jan. 12, 2008 meeting in Tehran. (AFP photo/Fars News/STR)

More than five years after “mission accomplished” in Iraq, the Bush administration continues to refuse to engage in diplomacy with Iran, resorting again to misleading—and familiar-sounding—sound bites as a prelude to war.

Once again, Americans are being led astray. For all of the talk of Iranian weapons and influence in Iraq, the administration offers a dramatic lack of proof. On May 12, for example, the U.S. military quietly announced that a cache of 20,000 pieces of ammunition, explosives and weapons—formerly and loudly proclaimed as Iranian in origin—were not made in Iran after all.

We must not be seduced yet again by the drumbeat of war. A pre-emptive strike on Iran would not only be a breach of U.N. charter, but a complete break with the values of peace and diplomacy this country is supposed to represent.